Friday, September 14, 2012

Kansas officials shouldn't have delayed decision on Obama's ballot worthiness

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Kobach is playing politics with the election process.
  • Kobach is playing politics with the election process.
Residency debates are typically left to local school races or battles for the Statehouse. But Thursday in Kansas, the nationality of the sitting president was up for debate.

The State Objections Board heard a challenge to President Barack Obama's name being on the November ballot from Manhattan resident Joe Montgomery yesterday. Montgomery questioned Obama's eligibility and the validity of his birth certificate. The board, which consists of three Republican state officials and is chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, decided to delay a decision until Monday. Kobach asserted that the decision to postpone a ruling was not meant to give legitimacy to the claim but instead was focused on receiving further documentation, such as a certified birth certificate from Obama's home state of Hawaii.

That argument just doesn't hold water. The decision to even convene a hearing legitimized Montgomery's claim. This is Obama's seventh campaign at the state and national level. We live in an era where no political opportunity is forsaken. If there were any real issue with his citizenship, it's one that would have come to light long ago.

As secretary of state, Kobach is charged with overseeing the election process, and an important part of that task is understanding which challenges are worth hearing. This was not one of them. On Monday, I expect that the State Objections Board will rule that Obama's name will appear on the November ballot. But for the next 72 hours, Kobach will sit back and watch an alarmist news cycle that he helped create.

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